Department of Numbers

Reading Pennsylvania Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Reading, PA (the Reading metro area) was $865 in 2015 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Reading was $827 in 2015. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2016 Reading median and average rent data will be released in September of 2017.

Data is also available below for Reading rental vacancy rates, Reading rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Reading.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Reading Pennsylvania (2015 dollars)2

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $959 +3.12% +8.24%
Pennsylvania Median Gross Rent $868 +2.84% +8.50%
Reading, PA Median Gross Rent $865 +0.58% +5.62%

Reading, PA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $865, real median gross rent in Reading was at its highest level in 2015 since the series began in 2005. Average gross rent for Reading peaked in real terms in 2014 at $838 and is now $11 (1.31%) lower.

Real Gross Rent in Reading: Reading PA Median, Reading PA Average, Pennsylvania Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Reading

Date US
Median
Pennsylvania
Median
Reading, PA
Median
Reading, PA
Average
2015 $959 $868 $865 $827
2014 $930 $844 $860 $838
2013 $898 $822 $820 $801
2012 $886 $800 $819 $816
2011 $887 $800 $831 $827
2010 $901 $804 $827 $794
2009 $905 $793 $839 $818
2008 $920 $811 $804 $759
2007 $874 $759 $775 $762
2006 $883 $769 $778 $782
2005 $858 $762 $742 $725

Reading Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2015 the rental vacancy rate for Reading Pennsylvania was 8.04% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Reading Pennsylvania

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.85% -0.47% -0.92%
Pennsylvania 5.77% -0.63% -0.11%
Reading, PA 8.04% -0.31% +0.64%

Trends in Reading, PA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Reading peaked in 2014 at 8.35%. Since then it has fallen by 0.31% to 8.04%. Data records for this series originated in 2005.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Reading PA, Pennsylvania, US

Rental vacancy rate in Pennsylvania

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Reading

Date US Pennsylvania Reading, PA
2015 5.85% 5.77% 8.04%
2014 6.32% 6.40% 8.35%
2013 6.49% 5.78% 4.57%
2012 6.77% 5.88% 7.40%
2011 7.40% 6.13% 5.60%
2010 8.17% 6.47% 4.13%
2009 8.43% 6.80% 7.55%
2008 7.86% 6.65% 5.31%
2007 7.87% 7.34% 6.56%
2006 7.70% 8.09% 4.83%
2005 7.74% 7.94% 7.56%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Reading, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Reading, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 18.50% in 2015 according to the ACS.

Reading Pennsylvania Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.63% -0.26% -0.02%
Pennsylvania 18.70% -0.42% +0.01%
Reading, PA 18.50% 0.00% -0.35%

Trends in Reading, PA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Reading household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2012 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 18.85%. Since then it has fallen by 0.35% to 18.50%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Reading PA, Pennsylvania, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Reading Pennsylvania

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Reading Pennsylvania

Date US Pennsylvania Reading, PA
2015 20.63% 18.70% 18.50%
2014 20.89% 19.12% 18.49%
2013 20.78% 19.11% 17.69%
2012 20.65% 18.69% 18.85%
2011 20.70% 18.78% 18.72%
2010 20.50% 18.58% 18.20%
2009 20.12% 17.88% 17.52%
2008 19.00% 17.18% 15.82%
2007 18.66% 16.92% 15.91%
2006 18.90% 17.22% 16.12%
2005 18.89% 17.43% 14.86%

Renter Fraction in Reading Pennsylvania

You can calculate the renter fraction in Reading in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Reading as a fraction of total Reading households. In 2015 28.44% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Reading Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.97% +0.07% +0.88%
Pennsylvania 31.28% +0.11% +0.19%
Reading, PA 28.44% -1.50% -1.01%

Trends in the Reading, PA Renter Fraction

The Reading household renter fraction peaked in in 2014 at 29.94% and is now 1.50% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Reading PA, Pennsylvania, US

Fraction of renters in Reading

History of Reading Renter Fraction

Date US Pennsylvania Reading, PA
2015 36.97% 31.28% 28.44%
2014 36.90% 31.17% 29.94%
2013 36.50% 31.05% 26.38%
2012 36.09% 31.09% 29.45%
2011 35.42% 30.51% 27.83%
2010 34.65% 29.87% 28.74%
2009 34.13% 29.48% 26.45%
2008 33.36% 29.15% 27.14%
2007 32.80% 28.36% 24.30%
2006 32.73% 28.28% 26.91%
2005 33.10% 28.52% 25.47%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.